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Animal rights

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I know this is a little off-topic but I'm a primate researcher in training and these pop-science misconceptions about apes drive me bonkers.

Would you say that it makes you go bananas?

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Right, but if the man tortures his animal in a noiseless and unobtrusive manner, not blocking any storefronts, on a pedestrian-only street where no drivers can be distracted, etc., etc., something tells me the questioner would still feel the urge to stop him--so you haven't really answered his question. If there were a basis to ban the activity based on individual rights, the question wouldn't arise in the first place. The question is: What if the act of torture causes no bother other than my negative emotional reaction?

Like boiling a huge freaking lobster! George the giant lobster liberated from restaurant

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page 2,this post

(address my arguments from the second part of this post if you want to, particularly the comparison with the airport-house example, which I believe is the same scenario as yours, without the non-essential parts.(the pomeranians getting processed into lunch :P )

No argument from me. In my example the neighborhood existed before the business. That could have been more explicit I suppose.

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The issue is a conflict between individual rights and the questioner's idea of what people should be allowed to do. The reason for the conflict is his apparent premise that, whenever he sees something he has a very negative emotional reaction to, he "has to" stop it, even though doing so is likely to involve the use of force. It is this premise that needs to be addressed.

I am reminded of the "cheating on your girlfriend" thread. Ethics is more fundamental than politics, so an act can be morally wrong without violating anyone's individual rights. Attempting to legislate morality or to justify coercion on the basis of an appeal to emotion discards the idea of objectivity in law. More strongly stated, it discards the idea of law because people have all kinds of emotions in all kinds of different contexts. No act could ever be safely known to be lawful because someone somewhere would take offense and could appeal to their emotional reaction to justify initiating force.

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http://www.dakotavoice.com/2009/01/animal-...administration/

From the article:

He laments that current laws which protect animals from cruelty do not include hunting, medical research, and food animals.

He also argues that animals should have the right to bring lawsuits…with humans (presumably animal rights activists) as their representatives, of course. Sunstein attempts to justify this absurdity by comparing it to adult representation of children in legal matters.

Edited by Lazariun

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[Mod's note: merged with a previous thread. - sN]

 

We're coming back to middle ages, when the animals were capable of being witnesses in the court and there were special interpreters to translate what animals told. That's just pure insanity!

Edited by softwareNerd
Merged

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It's mysticism. Humans proporting to know the will of non-volitional creatures. It, of course, requires an intermediary to interpret, just like all false religions of the past and present.

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This was one of my big concerns with Obama, who he would appoint to various high level offices, because one man can't do a lot, but a thousands underhanded minions can do lots of damage to innocent people and remain under the radar. Then these people will hire yet more of the same, so multiply those thousands by 10+. Obama has picked some wretched characters for these positions.

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[Mod's note: merged with a previous thread. - sN]

 

How would animals be treated in an Objectivist society? Would/could there be animal welfare standards, or would individuals be allowed to (mis)treat animals in whatever manner suited their own preferences?

Edited by softwareNerd
Merged

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How would animals be treated in an Objectivist society? Would/could there be animal welfare standards, or would individuals be allowed to (mis)treat animals in whatever manner suited their own preferences?

The easy (and hard answer) is that animals, not being human have no rights. Could a person treat an animal any way he/she pleases. Yes, so long as no individuals rights are abused. You don't have the right to not be disgusted, shocked or horrified by what Mr. X does to and with his property.

Would Mr. X suffer the consequences of his actions. Most likely. I wouldn't associate or deal with such a person on either a business or personal basis, and that would be my right. Indeed I might even make sure that everyone I know knows that Mr X tortures small animals for fun. If I had pictures of it I'd put them where people could see.

Have you or are you reading any of AR's non-fiction?

Many of the questions you seem to be asking are answered in other threads and in AR's non-fiction.

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You aren't asking how animals would be treated, you are asking how people would be treated under the law. People would be allowed to dispose of their property in whatever manner they see fit. We encourage kindness, but don't use government force to require it.

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The easy (and hard answer) is that animals, not being human have no rights. Could a person treat an animal any way he/she pleases. Yes, so long as no individuals rights are abused. You don't have the right to not be disgusted, shocked or horrified by what Mr. X does to and with his property.

Would Mr. X suffer the consequences of his actions. Most likely. I wouldn't associate or deal with such a person on either a business or personal basis, and that would be my right. Indeed I might even make sure that everyone I know knows that Mr X tortures small animals for fun. If I had pictures of it I'd put them where people could see.

this is what I expected as it is consistent with Objectivism. However, whilst I am admittedly rather uninitiated in Objectivism, I do not see why it is not possible within Objectivism to also ascribe certain limited rights to animals, which while not conscious are to some degree aware and capable of suffering pain etc. Clearly, these would be below the rights given to humans and individuals would be able to use animals to a certain extent, so long as they were within the limited rights of the animal.

Have you or are you reading any of AR's non-fiction?

I have read many of the selected quotes from the Lexicon, I am reading Atlas Shrugged and have several of AR's non-fiction texts (Romantic Manifesto, Virtue of Selfishness and For the New Intellectual). I am going on holiday next week, so should get more time and I plan to read as much as I can.

Even at this stage, I suspect I will acknowledge a significant debt to AR, but am unlikely to be a fully-fledged Objectivist (since I disagree on issues such as abortion). However, once I have a firmer understanding, I might consider studying Objectivism for my PhD thesis - if I can find a willing tutor. This might not be easy, it is not taught in philosophy departments in the UK and during three years of under-grad and a year of MA politics we were inundated with marxism, social democracy, 'liberalism' whilst we had only the merest fleeting reference to Hayek in one, optional course.

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this is what I expected as it is consistent with Objectivism. However, whilst I am admittedly rather uninitiated in Objectivism, I do not see why it is not possible within Objectivism to also ascribe certain limited rights to animals, which while not conscious are to some degree aware and capable of suffering pain etc. Clearly, these would be below the rights given to humans and individuals would be able to use animals to a certain extent, so long as they were within the limited rights of the animal.

But there you are placing society on the road to the rights-a-palooza (which we're on right now BTW). The dilution of Rights, proper individual rights with anything less is wrong.

AR called these "printing press rights" and although you might think now that they could never eclipse real rights all you have to do is look at the state of animal rights as they are today. The seal hunt in Canada was canceled for years because of animal rights (and the activists for it) and that destroyed the real right of Life (making a living as you choose without initiating force on another person) for thousands of people on Canada's East coast.

I have read many of the selected quotes from the Lexicon, I am reading Atlas Shrugged and have several of AR's non-fiction texts (Romantic Manifesto, Virtue of Selfishness and For the New Intellectual). I am going on holiday next week, so should get more time and I plan to read as much as I can.

Even at this stage, I suspect I will acknowledge a significant debt to AR, but am unlikely to be a fully-fledged Objectivist (since I disagree on issues such as abortion). However, once I have a firmer understanding, I might consider studying Objectivism for my PhD thesis - if I can find a willing tutor. This might not be easy, it is not taught in philosophy departments in the UK and during three years of under-grad and a year of MA politics we were inundated with marxism, social democracy, 'liberalism' whilst we had only the merest fleeting reference to Hayek in one, optional course.

That's good to hear. An honest, open, thinking mind is all one could ask for.

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But there you are placing society on the road to the rights-a-palooza (which we're on right now BTW). The dilution of Rights, proper individual rights with anything less is wrong.

AR called these "printing press rights" and although you might think now that they could never eclipse real rights all you have to do is look at the state of animal rights as they are today. The seal hunt in Canada was canceled for years because of animal rights (and the activists for it) and that destroyed the real right of Life (making a living as you choose without initiating force on another person) for thousands of people on Canada's East coast.

I understand your point, it is a difficult one. :(

"rights-a-palooza," I like it, a perfect description of the human rights brigade :)

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I do not see why it is not possible within Objectivism to also ascribe certain limited rights to animals, which while not conscious are to some degree aware and capable of suffering pain etc.

This would be a hard set of rights to not only define, since animals cannot be expected to understand or respect the rights of others, but also to delimit, since presumably we would be allowed to kill and eat animals, just not skin them alive I suppose.

Also, animals are conscious, they do not possess a volitional consciousness.

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I have read many of the selected quotes from the Lexicon, I am reading Atlas Shrugged and have several of AR's non-fiction texts (Romantic Manifesto, Virtue of Selfishness and For the New Intellectual). I am going on holiday next week, so should get more time and I plan to read as much as I can.

I would like to suggest you read Virtue of Selfishness before the others. (In hindsight, I wish I would've done that.) VoS gives you the foundation for rational selfishness that will help you understand and enjoy Atlas Shrugged all the more. Of course, most people end up rereading AS at some point, so if you do read it first, you can just enjoy it all the more a second time around after VoS. :)

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http://www.westonaprice.org/The-Ethics-of-...dical-View.html

Here the article argues that what it takes to feed a vegetarian, it takes several times as much to feed an animal, to feed a human.

The problem with this argument is: What will the animals eat? The author of this article makes a case for the killing of animals, for if you want animals to continue to exist, they will still have to eat.

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Late joiner here. I read most of it, but skimmed the last couple of pages.

To whoever it was who posted as having health problems, being unable to eat wheat, etc. Have you checked out the Paleo diet? :rolleyes:

I'm surprised that the issue of an animal's rights is even being discussed, and I'm surprised the value of non-human life is even being weighed against humans' enjoyment of eating it.

We're Objectivists. Have we forgotten that everything we believe in stems from the fact that we have to be selfish to live?

Let's look at selfish reasons we have for eating animals:

They taste good. They are nutritious.

Let's look at selfish reasons to abstain from eating animals:

The animal in question may have another use, such as companion or work-animal. Other than that, none.

(This doesn't take into account that some people have health problems with eating animals. I'd get that checked with a doctor though, it's unnatural. ;))

Now, let's look at rights. Objectivism says you have these basic rights: Life, liberty, property, pursuit of happiness. But really, Oist rights amounts to a right to action, so long as you abstain from interfering with other peoples' right to action.

Why, selfishly, do we uphold rights? Partially because we want our own rights respected. But we have a more selfish reason: That those other rational beings we're living with can benefit us through intellectual discussion, productivity, trade, etc, so long as they're allowed to be free to use their minds however they see fit.

What can an animal possibly do that selfishly warrants us giving it the same rights as humans?

Given what I just said about rights, what moral grounds does anyone have to support moral vegetarianism at all. If they can even justify it to themselves, what moral grounds do they have to preach it to anyone else?

This may be surprising to hear, given what I just said, but I'm an animal lover. A furry even. However, I recognize that we have to eat animals to live. We're Omnivores, it's in our nature.

As far as I'm concerned, the front-line in our fight for life against anti-human vegans must be moral. Almost everyone who debates them grants them their moral premise and debates them on the practicality of vegetarianism. As long as we let them occupy the moral high ground, any victory we gain from them will come at the cost of accepting a dichotomy between the moral and the practical. The practical justifications for vegetarianism are just that anyway: justifications. They're arguing practicality in order to justify the morality they're trying to impose on us.

(I used to live with a hardcore Vegan before I found out about Oism and realized that I didn't have to live under that anymore. Let's just say, this issue is very personal to me, hence my intensity about the subject.)

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I had a brief vegetarian crisis late last year. It went as follows.

"If I'm categorically against the initiation of violence, and I don't ethically distinguish between human beings and other animals, then how can i justify eating meat which causes violence to be initiated against animals".

This was my conclusion.

"For my work and study, I use two laptops, an audio recorder, an e-book reader, an mp3 player and a cell phone. All of these devices use coltan, a black metallic ore necessary for modern electronics, which is one of the leading causes of resource war in sub-Saharan African. My vocation, which will and already has begun to ameliorate imposed fear and suppression, increase awareness and save lives, which could realistically one day help to end this resource war situation, requires the use of these devices. My clothes, shoes, and non-meat food have tremendously negative socioeconomic impacts all around the world as well, and indeed I could follow this line of logic until I'm crouching naked in the bushes, wasting all the talent, experience, development and work that I have actively dedicated toward ends which seem to be ethical and principled. If I am by necessity going to permit myself this passive hindrance (what could be considered a moral compromise) in order to give active service, in terms of causing human beings to die, then it is cognitively balanced to continue eating animal flesh which sustains my health".

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Well, as far as I remember, depriving yourself of meat doesn't really rob you of anything except for deliciousness. And B12, if you want to be vegan, and don't mind being an uptight little prick.

But I've never saw a reason not to eat meat. It's all purely emotional. Also, it's been proven that the best way to protect an endangered species is to eat them

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p1. A world with less suffering is better than a world with more suffering.

p2. Animals suffer while being butchered for meat.

p3. A 'rational' man takes reasonable steps to make the world better.

p1 ^ p2 ^ p3 -> A rational man should not eat meat.

I know there is something wrong somewhere, i just can't put my finger on it.

p1 has been identified as a false premise already, but p2 is false as well. Not all animals suffer while being butchered. A good hunter will kill an animal instantly with one blow. A farm operation or even a slaughterhouse is capable of the same when proper care is taken.

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Unfortunately for the compassionate vegetarians, eating meat and animal fats is a necessity to long term health. A vegetarian (or worse Vegan) diet is self destructive. The human body evolved over tens of thousands of years to eat animals, not grains, vegetables (exclusively), or bean products like soy.

Study the vegetarians you meet. It is likely they are unnaturally skinny and their skin tends to be pale and pasty. Eat meat. It's the moral thing to do.

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Smartest? Indeed. But you have to question what's smart. By my own standards mankind lacks intelligence.

Compared to what? What other creature is even capable of making this distinction?

We pollute our air. We kill one another. We go to war. We have nukes. We complain about high gas prices while people starve in Africa... I know, it's an old school thought that any fourteen year old can come up with.
If people in Africa adopted Western principles (particularly Capitalism) then they could also have the luxury of complaining about gas prices. Meanwhile, their ignorance is not our responsibility.

But it's a valid one.
Hardly. You'll have a difficult time finding an Objectivist who agrees.
Look at dolphins. They live in their environment in peace. They don't pollute the water.
So it's not pollution when animals dump their feces in the ocean?
They don't go to war.
They are capable of organized violence. http://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/Nati...f-the-Deep.aspx
And they eat a lot of fish.

Dolphins are smart because they've found a way to live in perfect harmony with their environment. Humans are not smart because they haven't done what dolphins have.

Humans are smart because, rather than being subject to their environment like dolphins, we have learned to shape the environment to suit us.

Is it okay to eat meat when you know you could have a salad instead? Maybe. Animals feel pain and are alive. And humans can get around the meat eating. Dolphins can't.

So, really, who's smarter?

The creatures who are aware of the choice, obviously.

When confronted with the absurd notion that other animals are smarter than humans, I offer this challenge: Show me an animal that can triple its own life span with products of reason.

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